6 Things to Review Before Signing an Employment Contract | NYC



6 Things to Review Before Signing an Employment Contract

Getting a new job is exciting, especially if you’ve been stuck in a position you don’t enjoy. But don’t let the excitement blind you. A new job can be just as dangerous or threatening as your old one, if not more so. One way to tell early on is by checking your employment contract. Your employment contract will tell you a lot about your new job, and there are several things you should review, particularly with an attorney, before you sign it.

If you’re unsure what you should be doing or looking for before signing an employment contract, you should contact the employee rights attorneys at Bantle & Levy. We can review your contract with you, alleviate any concerns, confirm your excitement, or warn you about possible dangers hidden in the small text.

6 Things You Should Review in an Employment Contract

Signing an employment contract without reviewing it thoroughly may expose you to unforeseen complications and potential dangers. Your employer may seem friendly but they are not your friend. They draft the fine print to suit the needs and desires of the company, not the employee.

They’ll also hide terms that are not in your best interest in the fine print, such as non-compete clauses, undefined job roles, unfair dismissal terms, and more. Therefore, you should always make sure you fully understand the employment agreement before signing it.

  • Job Description: Verify that the job description in the contract matches what you were told during the interview process. Your employer should be clear about your duties and responsibilities before you even begin.
  • Salary and Benefits: Confirm that the salary and benefits package outlined in the contract is what you agreed upon. This includes base salary, bonuses, health insurance, retirement plans, and any other benefits.
  • Work Schedule: Look at the expected work hours and days. Make sure they align with what was agreed upon, and if there are any clauses that can change this schedule without your approval.
  • Non-compete Clauses: Contracts can include non-compete clauses, which limit your employment opportunities if you leave the company. Make sure you understand the limitations and enforceability of these clauses.
  • Termination Details: Understand what notice periods and grounds for dismissal your employer is promising you in the event that you are let go.
  • Dispute Resolution: Check for a clause detailing how disputes will be resolved. It could be through forced arbitration, mediation, or court proceedings. Certain laws do restrict what kinds of cases can be resolved through forced arbitration.

The Risks of Signing an Employment Contract Without Reviewing It

Signing an employment contract without having it reviewed by a lawyer can expose you to several risks:

  • Binding Terms: Once you sign an employment contract, you are bound by its terms and conditions. If there are unfavorable terms you did not understand or overlooked, you will still be held to them unless you can prove they were illegal.
  • Negotiation Assistance: You can find ground to negotiate with in terms of your employment contract. Without legal counsel, you might overlook opportunities to negotiate better terms.
  • Understanding Contract End Dates: Without a careful review, you might overlook important details like contract end dates and renewal terms, which is especially important if your employer has grace periods or you work on a contractual schedule. This could lead to unexpected job loss or unfavorable renewal conditions.

Contact Bantle & Levy to Review Your Employment Contract

Nowadays, you’re given time to review your employment contract before it needs to be signed. Even a few days is all you need to have it reviewed, so take that chance to do so. If your new employer doesn’t want to give you that time, that may be a red flag.

Avoid the potential risks associated with signing an employment contract without reviewing it. By seeking professional advice, you are protecting your career, but potentially your mental health and well-being as well. Contact the employee rights attorneys at Bantle & Levy today. We can help ensure you receive the position, pay, and benefits that you agreed to.

Bantle & Levy
Bantle & Levy

Lee Bantle is a partner at Bantle & Levy LLP. He has extensive legal expertise, admitted to the bars of the U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals. With a distinguished academic background and clerkship experience, he has been recognized as a top-rated civil rights attorney and esteemed lawyer. In addition to his successful career, he has actively contributed to various legal organizations and serves as a faculty member for NYU's Annual Workshop on Employment Law for Federal Judges.


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